SIBF 2022: 'Find your voice, and you'll get there,' best-selling author tells aspiring writers

Canadian-Indian traces her journey to becoming one of the world's most renowned modern poets

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A Staff Reporter

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Published: Sat 12 Nov 2022, 9:05 PM

Last updated: Tue 22 Nov 2022, 11:45 AM

It was an evening of honest conversation as New York Times bestselling author, Rupi Kaur, inspired the audience as she traced her journey to becoming one of the world's most renowned modern poets, during a session at the Sharjah International Book Fair.

Before the discussions commenced, Kaur also gave a spoken word performance, reading out poems from her collections such as The Sun and Her Flowers. With her works touching on the themes of love, loss, trauma, healing, femininity and migration, the poet said that she "always felt like I had this deep desire to always connect and share with people, even as a child. Now I have a way to do it, which is through words".


While self love and belief are often central in her poems, she admitted to facing challenges when it comes to her own work.

She said: "I tell my readers to truly believe they are beautiful inside out, brave and talented. But I would be a hypocrite to myself, beating myself up for not doing a reading properly."


The Canadian-Indian writer also elaborated on her journey of accepting her identity and using it to fuel her work.

She said: "Growing up in Canada, I had to deal with physically being so different from the majority. My parents were very much for preserving our Indian culture. I was a little bit of this and a little bit of that, and growing up simultaneously in two different worlds at home and outside was a disadvantage, I used to think. But when I turned 21, I had to shift that perspective, and transform it into something beautiful and empowering."

The 30-year-old author and illustrator also worked through the challenges of being a self-published author when she started out. "I was told that if I self publish, no one would respect me in the industry."

Offering advice to her many young fans in the audience, Kaur said: "If you want to take the step to becoming a writer, do it, even if it may seem scary. Everybody’s path is so different. So, find your voice, find what works for you and don’t let anyone stop you and you will get there."

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